About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Triple Bonus

One of my favorite bookstores, one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite authors all at once. It doesn't get any better than that. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will surely remember that the Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague, Michigan, is a favorite of mine. (See previous post.) I fell in love with the store the first time I visited in 2011, so much so that I went back a month later to attend the store's book club and have been periodically making the hour-and-a-half drive ever since.

As it happens, a recent book club selection turned out to be one of my favorite books, Okay For Now, by one of my favorite authors, Gary Schmidt. I was thrilled to learn that Gary would visit the Book Nook to personally talk about the book. Young adult novels, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Trouble, and The Wednesday Wars are a few of Gary's award-winning titles, and I have enjoyed them all. But my current favorite Gary Schmidt book, indeed one of my favorite books in general, is Okay For Now. It was a joy to see Gary in person talking about and reading from the novel. He is every bit as engaging as are his books.

If you haven't read young adult books because you think they are just for school kids, let me set the record straight. Good YA fiction is simply good fiction and can be enjoyed by adults too. So each year Bryan Uecker, owner of the Book Nook and moderator of the book club, selects one YA title for the group to read and discuss. For Gary's appearance, the store was full, not just with book club members, but also with students, parents, other interested adults, and maybe some future book club members. Gary held us all in rapt attention with stories about his life, his writing, and the relationship between the two. Afterwards he took time to sign books and converse with those in attendance.

In addition to running the book club in the store, Bryan Uecker also appears once a month on a local morning TV show called Take Five during which he discusses the book club selection of the month with the hosts of the show. This month the show also featured Gary Schmidt as well as Brian's two daughters with their questions for Gary about Okay For Now. Here is a video of that segment:

The evening with Gary Schmidt was delightful. I can't wait to start reading Gary's newest book,  What Came From The Stars.

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